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New player - mod recommendations, etc.

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale 2' started by jiansonz, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. jiansonz Gems: 2/31
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    Hi all!

    I bought IWD 2 as part of a 3-in-1 box a couple of years ago. I plan to play it for the first time soon.

    I've played a lot of BG and BG2, and played through 'vanilla' IWD a few times (currently on my first run with the HoW expansion, with some minor mods) so I am very familiar with AD&D 2nd edition rules. I've skimmed through the IWD 2 manual and see that IWD 2 uses an adaptation of 3rd edition rules. Will be interesting, I suppose.

    Now to the questions. I am interested in mods that:
    - fix bugs (latest patch, I suppose. Anything else?)
    - restore planned-but-never-finished content (along the lines of the Unfinished Business mods that exist for the BG games and IWD 1)
    - add bonus merchants/items that come with "Collector's edition" version of the game.
    - tweak certain stuff, like Stores Selling Bigger Stacks of Ammo (I will install the Tweaks Antology by the Gibbelings Three - although most of its content doesn't apply to IWD2...)
    - add minor quests, especially to the early game (think Jastey's 'Mini Quests and Encounters' for BG). If such a mod introduces new items, I don't want them to be too powerful.

    So, in light of my situation, what would you recommend?
     
  2. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    Well, the G3 Fixpack and the G3 Tweak pack are must-haves, or their predecessors the Ease-of-Use patch. Just the item stacking and bottomless containers alone is worth it (provided by the predecessor Ease-of-Use).
    You can get the collector's edition stuff from this website.

    I'm not aware of an Unfinished Business for IWD2, but I haven't kept up with the latest mods in a while.
     
  3. jiansonz Gems: 2/31
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    Thanks.

    Looks like I am pretty well set with the patch, the bonus stuff and the G3 Tweaks Anotolgy then. (Didn't find any G3 Fixpack for IWD 2.)

    I found some decent portraits packs, though.


    I may be a little weird, but I kind of like the 'inventory management game', at least for a first playthrough. I want unlimited gem stacking and that ammo stacks in packs of 120, but I don't want unlimited potion- or scrolls stacking or bottomless containers...
     
  4. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    Well, with potions, you still have the weight limit. They hand-wave it for gems, GP, ammo, and scrolls, but everything else still counts against your weight limit for things NOT in the Bag of Holding.
     
  5. Laclongquan Gems: 3/31
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    My suggestion is to grasp every potion bags, scroll case, gem bags come along. Every last one of them.

    I have to sell normal and extra heal potions quite a lot. Like, at the Underdark merchant I sold 50 extra heals, just for example. And sell buncha gems.

    I know, at the time you might feel like it's extraneous...
     
  6. jiansonz Gems: 2/31
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    Alright, I'll certainly do that.
    The good stuff is often expensive, and if the depreciation (sp?) works like in similar games, you often want to sell as large batch as possible the first time you sell a certain type of item to a particular vendor.


    I've just created my party, and our total wealth is 126 gold and six stupid quarter staves (that neither of us favour as a weapon, but it's better than fists, I suppose).


    We're going to the Underdark at some time?!
    Jeebers, I hope the game lets us gain, like, 20 levels or so before that happens...
     
  7. jiansonz Gems: 2/31
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    Okay, a couple of more questions now that I have started off. Still on the first map, but we have gotten hold of some (very) basic gear and visited a couple of buildings.


    * Spontaneous casting. From the manual: "Clerics can convert their currently memorized spells into healing spells (if good) or inflict spells (if evil) when the player shift-L-clicks on a spell at the time of casting."

    Sounds quite useful, almost like a small taste of how a Sorcerer works. :)

    How does one do this, exactly? I don't know if I am dense, but I think the wording is more than a little vague. 'At the time of casting', does that mean 'while the spell chanting goes on'? Or does it mean I should do a shift-L-click instead of just a L-click when I select what spell to cast. But to me, that clicking is something that happens before 'the time of casting'. ??

    My Cleric is Neutral. Can she do spontaneous casting? If yes, will she do healing or inflicting? Or can I choose which one?

    Can remaining Domain spells be converted in the same way?

    Can Druids do spontaneous casting?


    * Bard spells, do they need to be scribed from scrolls or will I gain automatic access to them like a priest?


    * (This is very minor and doesn't matter after the party's very first rest, but...)
    Is it not possible to pick more than one of a particular spell (e.g. 2x Cure Light Wounds) to have memorized at the start of the game?
     
  8. Laclongquan Gems: 3/31
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    When you shift click on the spell, it's already converted. You must choose a target before doing anything else, or you lose that healing spell. After you choose a target (click on that one) the spell animation will start.

    Neutral and Good do healing. My dreadmistress Lawful Neutral heal all the time.

    Bard is like Sorcerer but slower.
     
  9. jiansonz Gems: 2/31
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    Alright, I got the spontaneous casting figured out by trial and error (I still think the wording in the manual is vague). And no, Druids can't do it.

    Yep, when my Bard got to level 2, I got to pick two spells. Then I couldn't put them in memorizing slots. Unlike my other spellcasters (that had listed 'x available'), my bard had '2/2 available'). I first thought it was the armor that was the problem, but then I saw that the spells were already cast-ready! (This is different from BG Sorcerers - there you need to rest first.)

    Prologue is done now. For a first-time player, that was a pretty cool battle at the end. It's too bad I happened to start it a bit prematurely. I am reading walkthrough parts after every part I've played, and that premature start of the prologue end battle made me miss out on about 5 quests (some of which I may or may not have found by myself).


    One thing I haven't found info about are the chances to succesfully scribe scrolls. My Wizard is now level 3 but has no 2nd level spells in his book. I've bought four such scrolls but I haven't found any +INT potions for sale, so they are still not scribed.
    EDIT: I've now read that there is something called a 'spellcraft check' involved. OK, my Wizard is pretty good in the spellcraft department (for the stage in the game) but I'd like to know the math behind it. Also, will Bless or Luck affect the scribing chance?


    I am playing no-reload as far as I possibly can (and when I do fail, I will still try to get through with as few reloads as possible). This makes me quite careful, and it's very engaging, fun and intense. I know I only have ONE "virgin run". You should have seen my fighting preparations (including three Blessed Dire Rats, LOL!) for the attempt to pursuade the drunken mercenaries to get their act together. Then it turned out we didn't have to fight. :)

    I haven't dared to pick pockets more than once. It was when the warehouse guy was leaving the warehouse after a conversation. This is standard for me in BG no-reloads runs: picking pockets as they are leaving, since they usually don't turn hostile if you fail, and you may get several attempts if you're quick with the pause button. Pickpocket succeeded, but all he had was a dagger...
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
  10. Laclongquan Gems: 3/31
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    1. INT is very rarely boosted. I found only 2 item that is +1 INT. No potion at all. So dont rely on it.
    2. If you play NoReload, and you want to get past the successful scribe spell from scrolls to memory... You might want to turn Option, Difficulty slider to easiest. After scribe you can turn it back to your previous setting. Luck does effect rolls but I dont know if it affect chance.
    3. Pickpocket is basically screwed in this game. Even if you somehow get it to 70+, there's still chance for it to fail. I tested. So a NORELOAD is not possible to play thief.

    4. For a NoReload, I suggest you use a good scout to check out battlefield before hand. Deep Gnome Rogue is good because you can cast self invisibility with a +4 to their detection thanks to Non Detection innate ability. DG Ro4/F4 make for a wonderful grandmaster Bow if you worry about their battle role.
     
  11. jiansonz Gems: 2/31
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    I want the risk of scroll scribing failure (it adds to my enjoyment), but I would really like to know my chances and if there is a way to improve them. I suppose the risk of failure is greater if it's a spell of a higher level than what you can currently cast, right? I had my wizard scribe Stinking Cloud before he could cast it. Accidently, since I thought it is a 2nd level spell. When he levelled up to 5 later, I was a bit bummed to be in the wilderness with no 3rd-level scroll at hand. Then I looked at his 3rd-level spells meny and yay, there was a spell there! :)


    Right, I think I'm giving up on the pickpocketing this playthrough, it's too risky. My bard has a lot more things she wants to spend skill points on anyway, so that's fine.


    I like the Lingering Song feat a lot. This is something I've always wanted. If I time it right, my bard can do pretty much all the fighting and spellcasting she would have done otherwise, and still sing.


    Scouting is how I play BG most of the time, so that's second nature. Rogue is a dwarf, though.
     
  12. jiansonz Gems: 2/31
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    My party has now defeated the goblin/orc fortress. Yikes, this game has some BIG fights, even if they haven't been particularly hard - yet. No casualty this far.
    (Playing on Core difficulty, that's what I do nearly always in these kind of games)

    Pretty sure I missed out on some quests, but I did complete the exchange-bracers-message thing for some nice experience.

    Major bummer with that imprisoned ranger (Braston, was it?). He tailed my Rogue relentlessly, while I still had some enemies to fight and rooms to loot. Even hiding didn't make him let go. I feared for his safety, so I went back to his cell with my Rogue and closed the door, then the rest of my party did the remaining fighting, looting and looking for traps. My Wizard is good at finding traps, but can't disarm them. Since he found three of them, my Rogue took over that last part. He's only so-so with traps in general. He usually disarms them, but he has failed a couple of times. Up to this point, the traps have been quite tame: usually an arrow, once some weak poison and once a Confusion trap. But the last one in this fortress was a Fireball trap, and it freakin' killed Braston! I could only tell Ennella (sp?) that "we released Braston, then we don't know what happened to him". Ahem...


    Question: A few times, I've had Hold Person nail a character in my party, but I have yet to find a cure to release them (other than Dispel Magic, but DM also takes away my buffs, so it's usually not ideal). I've tried both Remove Paralysis (Clr 2) and Freedom of Movement (Clr 4, Drd 4), both spells with descriptions that specifically mention that they cure Hold Person but those haven't worked. What gives? Does my caster need to pass some Spellcraft check, or is it some sort of level vs. level thing?

    Peculiarity: In the spell list in the manual, there is a spell called Lesser Restoration (Clr 2, Drd 2, Lathander 2) that the description says will restore any ability scores (STR, DEX and such) that have been lowered by magic. But this spell isn't in the game. Neither my Cleric nor my Druid has it available. OTOH, there is a 4th-level Cleric spell called Restoration, that restores lost levels and any effects that reduce ability scores, and this spell isn't in the manual. It is also this spell that is a 2nd-level Domain spell for a Morninglord of Lathander (next to Bull's Strength) instead of Lesser Restoration.

    Description looks like this:
    (but more correct would have been Level: Clr 4, Lathander 2)

    [​IMG]


    Observation about Bard spells: you get a limited selection in some ways, mostly it's limited when it comes to Evocation spells. The only one I've seen is Chromatic Orc (which was one of the first two I grabbed). Bards seems to get the full assortment of Enchantment spells, and usually have them at a lower spell level than a Wizard. Dire Charm as 2nd level, Confusion and all the Emotion spells as 3rd-level spells, and so on. Bards also seem to get the illusion spells and the 'protect me' spells, and also some low-key curative magic (CLW and Delay Poison, for example). Picking Haste as her first 3rd-level spell was a big mistake - it's nothing like what I am used to (you could say it's not overpowered for a 3rd-level spell, maybe that's a good thing?). I'm much more satisfied with my second and third picks, though: Slow and Emotion: Courage. The latter has duration: 50 rounds!

    My Wizard is a Conjurer, so that the fact that my Bard doesn't get much Evocation makes it trickier. I had counted on Skull Trap to be a staple, but my Wizard failed at scribing the one scroll I've found. Hopefully, he'll get more chances. Anyway, my Druid has a lot of AoE elemental mayhem, and my Cleric is no slouch with that either (Lathander priests like fire, it seems...).

    My Wizard has a couple of empty 4th-level slots and even two empty 5th-level slots. Haven't found any scrolls above 3rd-level yet. That's high on the wishlist now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
  13. Laclongquan Gems: 3/31
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    Wizard scrolls are very rare, especially higher level. Once it's gone, there's quite rare chance for it to be available again. It's a peculiar design of IWD2 that make divine casters are much more versatile than arcane.

    You have more access to 4th level spell in next area, in the landing zone, and the ice temple. 5th tier is in ice temple level2, battlesquare, and the wandering village in next to next area.

    Anyway, I think Bard's 3rd song do affect the chance to learn spell, so have that one active before you try to scribe.
     
  14. jiansonz Gems: 2/31
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    I did get a number of decent level 4 scrolls in the next areas, and one level 5 scroll (Dominate Person). Plus that gnome that had been swallowed by a Remorhaz sold us a Skull Trap scroll - nice!

    Alas, my virgin no-reloads run has come to an end.
    Nickademus didn't like us peeking inside his bedoom cupboard and turned hostile.
    Kinda overreacting, I think.

    At first, we hid in a side room and let his three summon spells run out. I had my Rogue and my Fighter explore a bit more of the level. But eventually we fought and killed him. Game Over. Of course I didn't know that he was critical to the plot...

    A bit unfair that it should end like this, I think. Nobody else have turned hostile because we did a bit of burglary in their rooms. (Well, that werewolf tradesman did notice it, but we could still leave in peace...) To have a plot-critical character be this sensitive, I think that's bad form.


    I don't think my quicksave with Nick hostile is anything to build on. I'll reload the autosave before we entered that entire floor.
     
  15. Laclongquan Gems: 3/31
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    Use your best talker and exercise caution talking with him. I think you choose the wrong dialog lines somewhere and piss him off. My party can not resist that wardrobe so we nick it, but get through him just fine. 24CHA bard is a good diplomat.
     
  16. Laclongquan Gems: 3/31
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    Note: if you are running with a specialist mage as human, you can consider crossclass a level of sorcerer, choose two spells of that specialist's opposition schools. Voila! Now you can learn and cast spells of those opposition schools.

    And after the Fortress, before Temple of Ice is the best time to cross, because there's a lull before you can buy newer, higher level scrolls.
     
  17. jiansonz Gems: 2/31
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    Well, I failed to pick the 'we wish to benefit from your great wisdom' dialogue, thus missing out on an XP reward.

    That's fine, there isn't that much in the cabinet anyway. Plus I may still have a chance to loot it after Nickademus has received the "favour" I promised him. Something tells me that will happen someplace else.


    What does it matter if the wizard is human?
    (And no, taking some Sorcerer levels won't happen with my wizard, he has too low Charisma).

    He does have some useful level 5 spells now: Dominate Person, Animate Dead and Cloudkill (unlike BG, Cloudkill is NOT an Evocation spell. I guess it pays off to re-check everything I think I already know). Problem is, now he has three 6th-level slots and nothing to put there...



    That 'battle square' meant SOME fighting! It was both fun and sometimes tedious. Several reloads here, but only a few because I died. Most of the reloads came after I had defeated one of the monster types that teleported over to my other party members. There were only two spots where the golem could stand and declare the result if that happened: just outside the (now blocked) door, or just below the room. The golem often got stuck when it tried to walk to those spots. Highly annoying!

    I did all the fights with my Druid, and >95% of them were won with using the Remorhaz shapeshift (courtesy of Weimer's mod). It's fire immune and dishes out great damage. The harder it got, the more buffs were required. Haste was the most important one, and it usually carried her quickly through the first 3-4 fights.

    In the final game (Rank 10, level 5 (7 squares required)), the buffs were Static Charge (not a 'regular' buff, but awesome help), Barkskin, Stoneskin (plus another memorized so she could recast it once between fights), Magic Circle Against Evil, Aid, Emotion: Hope, Haste and Improved Invisibility. She had recently levelled to 13 and received her first White Half-Dragon
    shapeshift, and this form was super effective against those cold based demons that look like a BG Pit Fiend '(something)-ugon'. So when this kind of beast appeared for fight 5, she shifted to the White Half-Dragon form. Without Haste, the Remorhaz could usually not kill these demons in time. The I lucked out that both fight 6 and fight 7 were against the same type of demon.
     
  18. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    The favored class rules come into play, but half-elves should work just as well. if you are playing a single-classed wizard taking a dip into sorcerer, you can also use an Elf (favored class wizard), a male Drow (favored class wizard), a wild elf (favored class sorcerer, good for that dip), a gnomish illusionist (no other specialist or plain wizard), or a half-elf (favored class is the same as humans, any).

    I don't see any reason why it should be limited to humans, but any race not mentioned above (recap: human, half-elf, elf & subraces, and a gnome if it is an illusionist) would incur XP penalties that would cripple them by mid-game.

    You should NOT take that dip in sorcerer with a dwarf, halfling, or half-orc, or a plane-touched human (Asimar & tielfling)
     
  19. Laclongquan Gems: 3/31
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    If you use Drow, that means your wizard is (2+1) level behind for that mix. Big waste. ie if your party level average is 9, for example, your wizard is just at level 6
    Same reason with Gnome.
    That was why you should not choose those races for caster unless it's a same-race party.

    Elf, Wild Elf, as an ECL of 1, but no bonus to intelligence, means their spells are less effective compared to human equivalence. IN a party with average level of 9, say, a human caster has highest level, 9, with most effective spells (highest DC). meanwhile an Elf/Wild Elf caster is 8, and less DC to their spell. Once you get the sorcerer mix in, DC get another level behind.

    That one (or two) point of difference can be a matter of enemies fall asleep or not, webbed or not...

    Half elf? Why choose it when you can choose pure human?
     
  20. jiansonz Gems: 2/31
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    My Wizard is a Moon Elf. No level penalties as far as I understand it.

    I tried to recreate something similar to a character I played IWD 1 with, but he was a Human Fighter 7 -> Conjurer. I chose elf because of the free proficiency with bows. I wanted him to be a decent archer from the beginning (so he could fill the role my IWD 1 character had), and it's worked out well so far.

    Not sure what DC means.
     
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